Tunisian President Kais Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and froze the country’s parliament on Sunday, with the move coming in the wake of large-scale anti-government protests over the economy and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Kais Saied of Tunisia issued a formal decree Monday sacking Prime Minister Mechichi, and firing Defence Minister Brahim Bartagi and acting Minister of Justice Hasna ben Slimane.
The decree, published in a communique by the presidential administration’s press office, follows Saied’s announcement Sunday that he would be removing the prime minister and freezing parliament for a 30 day period.
In his comments Sunday, Saied said he felt he should have made the decision to sack Mechichi “several months ago,” and clarified that he would assume executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister, to be appointed at a later date. He specified that he had the authority to suspend parliament under Article 80 of Tunisia’s Constitution, which allows him to act if the nation is in “imminent danger.”